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Member postings for Jim Nic

Here is a list of all the postings Jim Nic has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Engine plans
07/08/2018 09:58:24

I did buiild my version of this engine in Jason's link using metric units but while converting I reduced the size because to my eye the engine was a bit long with not a lot of moving bits going on . I used a photocopier, a calculator and some Snopake to arrive at my working drawings, no CAD to share I'm afraid.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
06/08/2018 09:52:25

A very good looking piece of tooling. I have used a commercial tangential tool for most of my work almost from the day I started model engineering; I'm sure yours will prove equally useful.


03/08/2018 22:33:01

Ever since I got my Unimat 3 I've thought that the spindle was running a bit faster than the belt arrangement table claimed. Recently there have been a couple of threads on here regarding cheap e-bay digital tachometers so I decided I would use the information given to others and fit one for myself.

unimat tacho 1.jpg

unimat tacho 3.jpg

I toyed with fitting mains power to the indicator but taking into account the amount of time it would be used and the issue of arranging suitable voltage and cabling I ended up with a switched 9v battery. The sensor is held in place with a dollop of hot melt glue and the magnet is just placed on the spindle and both seem to be secure up to 4000 RPM so I reckon that'll do for me.

The indicator was £7.12, the project box was £3.70 and the battery clip and switch were £0.99 each. Probably a luxury but a good little project which kept me amused for an hour or 2.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
30/07/2018 22:30:17

About half of 'em and the other half is spent responding to queries on most of the modelling forums. wink (For which I for one have cause to be grateful.)


Thread: Friction Turning a Smoke Box Door
29/07/2018 11:35:52

A good result Stew. Another technique filed away for the future.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
28/07/2018 22:56:27

As always Jason a beautiful looking model and a good runner with an interesting "beat" to the rhythm.

The standard of your models gives me something to aim at even if I may never match what you produce.


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
27/07/2018 19:32:34

Yesterday I was boring a couple of holes 45mm deep in brass.

boring 1.jpg

To get around the problem of my boring tool grabbing in the brass I elected to use the fine feed feature of my WM 16 mill, which is a wheel with a straight knurl. This worked well to give me a consistent smooth finish in the bore but my ancient arthritic hands were protesting a bit. To make life a little more comfortable I lashed up a toolmaker's clamp to give me something to get hold of.

boring 2.jpg

Today I made a permanent solution in the form of a tommy bar

boring 3.jpg

to be screwed into the fine feed wheel, or not, as required and give a bit of leverage.

boring 4.jpg

Not an original idea I'm sure but a worthwhile way to spend half an hour.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
21/07/2018 20:37:50

That's a good looking "wobbler" Geoff, good work and a good runner too. I like the upside down look like which is a long way from the run of the mill oscillator design that I did for my first engine. Well done.


19/07/2018 21:23:10

After completing my version of Ray Hasbrouck’s No 3 Rocking Valve engine I was at a bit of a loose end because that engine seemed to finish all of a sudden and I hadn’t seriously considered “What next.” I gave a lot of thought to Julius de Waal's drawings of the Monitor engine from Model Engine Maker site. I have never been keen on his drawing layouts, I find them difficult to follow (probably due to my advancing years and retreating brain power), but downloaded them and gave them a good looking at while I spent some time cleaning my workshop and attending to machine maimtenance. I had got to the point of deciding to give it a go when I happened upon a ME forum query regarding Stew Hart’s Over Crank engine. I remembered following Stew’s build 7 or so years ago and thinking it was well beyond me, but that was then and this is now so I messaged Stew to ask for a copy of the drawings and he very kindly sent them to me.

The result:

1 materials.jpg

Somewhere amongst this pile is an Overcrank Engine (I hope). It’s a fairly complicated twin cylinder beast so should keep me occupied for a while. I’ll do my best to do the design justice and may post random thoughts on my progress when anything significant occurs.


Thread: EN15 Phosphor bronze?
07/07/2018 15:12:52

According to my copy of the Model Engineers Handbook EN15 is a plain carbon steel, modern designation 150M36.


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
30/06/2018 10:54:35


I think that model engines at this scale running at representative speeds don't need balancing weights on the crank. However, for appearance sake sometimes they are included.

Here is my Potty Vertical Cross with a balancing extension because the piece of steel I made it from was big enough to do it and the cut off excess would just have ended up in the waste bin.

Vertical Cross Single



Edited By Jim Nic on 30/06/2018 10:56:42

30/06/2018 10:47:13

Good work George, well done.

The problem you have now is what to do next!


29/06/2018 13:54:58

Certainly looks good George, do she run yet?


Thread: Rotary table set up
27/06/2018 23:45:31

I use a 2MT mandrel in the centre of the rotary table as per Maurice, albeit with a 10mm rod.

I loosely position the rotary table on the mill table with the rod inserted in the mandrel then tighten it down.


Thread: Changing Avatar/photo
27/06/2018 23:38:16

Tis I, I think.

I used to have a perfectly good avatar but tried to update to a picture of my latest successful model completion as I have done several times in the past.

Unfortunately I'm having more success with machining than updating my picture so I have decided to stick with the small ant for now and let the matter rest for a day or 2.


Thread: Filing Cast Iron
27/06/2018 23:28:48

+1 for a Dremel


Thread: Popcorn engine
23/06/2018 16:13:41

I can thoroughly recommend Stew Hart's version; although it is not a true scale model I believe it is based on a Dunbar original. Stew very kindly sent me his drawings in response to a request via a Personal Message on here.

Popcorn finished 2.jpg


Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
22/06/2018 15:46:41

"A twirl or two on the rotary table". I really must read up and practice twirling if that's the kind of result possible. wink


22/06/2018 14:06:34


To achieve the distinctly non prototypical polished rim on cast iron flywheels, after machining them to size and painting them, I mount them on a mandrel the same diameter as the crankshaft and chuck them up in a 3 jaw chuck on the lathe. Then it's a matter of turning it at a slowish speed (250 - 300 RPM ) and using a file and then progressively finer grades of abrasive paper until a smooth finish is obtained and finally finishing off on a buffing wheel.

Before I made my buffing wheel I left them on the lathe and used Solvol Autosol automotive metal polish. This is not recommended, being a bit risky in the event the polishing cloth catches in the chuck.


Edited By Jim Nic on 22/06/2018 14:07:19

21/06/2018 19:37:52

Although my latest engine is fairly straightforward it seems to have been taking a long time to get it finished. However, I have now managed to turn this:

Hasbrouck materials.jpg

and a few other bits into this:

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 1.jpg

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 2.jpg

Hasbrouck rocking valve finished 3.jpg

Plus of course a medium size pile of swarf and scrap parts. frown

It's an Oscillating Rotary Valve engine designed by Ray HasBrouck taken from his book "The Steam Engines of Ray HaSBrouck" and I've done it with a reduced bore and stroke of 15mm by 20mm . It's a lovely little runner as can be seen here: **LINK**


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